Sovereign Grace Blog
On Sunday we’ll continue our Life Together sermon series by examining the chief Christian virtue: love. The Apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 3:14 to “above all . . . put on love.” In order to understand and obey that command, we’ll ask and answer three questions: Why is love so significant? What is love? How do we cultivate Christian love? Join us as we study together the why, what, and how of love.
Please pray for Pastor Rick as he prepares his sermon. Pray for Tom Fluharty and the worship team as they prepare to point us to the Throne of Grace. Pray for Pastor Jon as he prepares to lead us at the Lord’s Table. Pray for the Welcome Team and the Discovery Kingdom workers as they prepare to serve in the strength that God supplies so that he gets all the glory (1 Peter 4:11). And let’s pray for each other, that we would come together as God’s temple, his church, and delight that Christ has forged the way into God’s presence made manifest by his Holy Spirit. Let’s gather on Sunday morning expectant and excited as we worship our Savior together in song and in the preaching of God’s word.
‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ (Matthew 25:40 ESV)
We recently received this email from Lily Fluharty who is serving at Casa De Esperanza in Caranavi, Bolivia. We can’t agree more with her thankfulness for your love and care for Fidel and Charo while they were with us for the month of August. We are thankful to God for our growing partnership in the gospel and looking forward to our spring ministry trip to Bolivia.
Dear Pastor Rick, Pastor Jon, and church family,
Fidel and Charo just arrived back at Casa de Esperanza this weekend and were blown away by the way the Lord is working at Sovereign Grace Church. They told me over and over again how they felt so welcomed, cared for, and loved during their 3 weeks in the States. They were so excited to share with the kids about the friendship that Casa de Esperanza now has with Sovereign Grace Church and the families there. They arrived encouraged, excited, and refreshed to continue the work here at Casa de Esperanza caring for and loving the “least of these.”
It is such an encouragement for me to hear of all the ways that families from church blessed Fidel and Charo in their stay in Minnesota. I want to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and love for them. God is at work here in Caranavi, Bolivia and in the lives of these precious children and I am so excited to see how He will continue working with this ministry.
I have been filled with such joy since I have returned here. It isn’t always easy raising little ones but it is amazing to see God’s love for me overflow into the little ones in my care. Please continue to pray for the children here at Casa de Esperanza. That God would touch their little hearts and open their eyes to Him and His love and hope.
God bless you my dear brothers and sisters in Christ! I miss worshiping alongside you but am filled with joy knowing that every Sunday we lift up our voices, on different continents, to the same Savior. Thank you for your love for these beautiful orphans and for opening up your hearts and homes to Fidel and Charo.
God bless you!
- The Gospel Song
- Before The Throne Of God Above
- I Am Coming To The Cross
- Happy Day
- Bless the Lord (10,000 Reasons)
- Foundations, Sunday, September 29.
- Man to Man, Saturday, September 28.
- 267 Youth Gathering, Wednesday, September 11.
- All-Church Family Meeting (audio here for members)
- Needy and Needed | Rick Gamache | Ephesians 4:11-16
In the Yungas, the subtropical mountain slopes of Bolivia, where the Andes mountains change into the Amazone Basin, over 65 orphans and abandoned children find their home at Casa de Esperanza, (House of Hope). In the spring of 2014 the Sovereign Grace Churches of the midwest/upperwest region will be leading a ministry team to Caranavi, Bolivia to meet some of the physical needs of those who call Casa De Esperanza their home.
This ministry team will be focused on construction work (metal roofing, plumbing, painting, sanding, and staining,) around the orphanage. Evenings will be set aside for times to care for the children and employees of the orphanage.
The trip will take place March 27 through April 7, 2014. Trip participants will depart from their home town to Miami, Florida to meet up with the ministry team for departure to La Paz, Bolivia. From La Paz, ground transportation will take the team on a 6 hour bus trip to the orphanage in Caranavi, Bolivia.
- Thursday, March 27: Depart for La Paz, Bolivia
- Friday, March 28: Arrive in La Paz and travel to Caranavi
- Saturday, March 29 – Friday April 4: Work on construction projects
- Saturday, April 5: Return travel to La Paz
- Sunday, April 6: Attend the La Paz Sovereign Grace Church
- Monday, April 7: Return travel to Miami
This ministry trip will have a primary focus on construction projects around the orphanage with times in the evening set aside to care for the children of the orphanage. The skills required will range from novice (I can use a paintbrush,) to handyperson (I can fix a toilet,) to professional (comfortable with power tools and tasks like roofing). If you have a willing heart to serve in physical labor with whatever capacity God’s given you, there will more than likely be a place for you on the trip.
The trip will be physically demanding due to the altitude, and hot, humid climate. Participants should be able to follow the schedule listed below.
- 7:30 a.m. Breakfast
- 8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Construction teams
- 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. – Lunch/time with children
- 1:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Construction teams
- 5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. – Dinner/evening activities at orphanage.
- 9:00 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – Daily team debrief and prayer
For travel purposes, a valid U.S. passport and travel immunizations will be required. These costs are not covered by the ministry team.
Ministry Team Costs
The estimated cost of the trip is $1950 per trip participant as follows:
- Airfare: $1300 (includes flight to Miami from home church)
- In country travel and lodging: $450
- Travel Insurance/Tourist Visas/Trip Admin: $200
These cost may fluctuate downwards based on airfare at the time of purchase. Those with valid Bolivian tourist visas may reduce their trip cost by $135, (Bolivian tourist visas are valid for five years from the date of issuance – please provide a copy of your valid visa to SGC for verification.)
The estimated costs of the construction projects (roofing, plumbing, home remodeling) and direct ministry blessing (kid’s carnival, teenager’s pizza night, Tia care,) is $7200. Each participant church will be asked to take a special offering to help raise these funds. Amounts raised beyond construction and direct ministry costs will be given to Casa De Esperanza to be used for their annual operating costs.
Individual trip participants will be asked to seek funding assistance through support letters sent to friends and family outside of their local church to help defer their costs. Individual amounts raised beyond $1850 will be pooled to reduce the cost of all trip participants. Even if you can pay for the cost of the trip yourself, we ask that everyone would fundraise to help the entire team.
As individual fundraising efforts are focused outside of the local church, each participant church will be asked to hold several corporate events to help reduce the costs of the individual trip participants. Corporate events may be a bake sale, a garage sale, or some type of corporate partnership with a local restaurant program designed to donate proceeds collected during certain hours for fundraising efforts.
Please fill out an application here. A $100 deposit is required. The deadline to register for the team is September 30, 2013. Those not accepted to the team will receive a full refund of the deposit amount. Those who cancel participation in the trip after October 15 will not receive a refund.
The ministry team size will be determined based on the number of skilled laborers to lead individual construction teams. The maximum team size will be 30 participants.
This Sunday we kick off a new sermon series entitled “Life Together.” As we take the month of September off of our usual small group routine, and new and current Small Group Leaders are trained, we’ll pause as a congregation to consider what it means to live life together in God’s church. And we’ll begin by considering the fact that there is no Christian life apart from life together in God’s church. When God saved you he gave you a new personal identity and he gave you a new corporate identity. We are now joined as members of Christ’s body, held together by each other. You need the church and the church needs you. God made you a member of Christ’s body to minister and to be ministered to so that the church will grow to maturity, to take on a corporate likeness to Christ. And the world needs nothing more than to see Christ.
Don’t forget to plan to stay for the Family Meeting and Church Picnic right after the Sunday Celebration. Guests and regular attenders are welcome too. It’s a great way to meet some new people and hear more about our church.
I love worshiping with you in the Word every Sunday. It’s such a joy to preach to saints who love the Bible and long to know more profoundly and love more deeply and obey more joyfully the God and Savior it reveals.
This past Sunday it was a particular joy to celebrate the sweet unity of the Spirit that we enjoy in our own church and with all the churches in our wider family of Sovereign Grace. I know it was a holiday weekend. If you weren’t here, I think you might enjoy reveling in God’s goodness in sending Jesus to live, die, and rise again to attain our unity. And I hope you will be helped by considering our call to maintain the unity that Jesus purchased with his precious blood. You can listen here.
One way to stay in touch with how God is working through our family of churches is to regularly read the Plant and Build blog. I think you’ll be encouraged and you’ll certainly gain plenty of fodder for your prayers as we partner together with sister churches to fulfill our Great commission to make disciples of all nations.
The blog is featuring an ongoing series introducing individual local churches. So far three of the church in our region have been spotlighted: Providence Community Church; Cross of Grace; and Covenant Life Fellowship. It’s a golden opportunity to introduce yourself to a few of our precious partners in the gospel.
May God grant us much Kingdom fruit as we labor together for his glory!
Grateful to God that we get to do this together,
This past Sunday we were blessed to hear from Fidel and Charo, the directors of the Bolivian orphanage, Casa De Esperanza. It was a morning of rejoicing in our growing partnership to extend gospel love and care to over 66 orphans who call Casa De Esperanza their home.
It was also a morning of special announcements about our growing partnership for the future. Because of your financial generosity Sovereign Grace Church, we as a church are going to begin to support CDE financially every month with a $500 donation. But, giving monthly is not all that we want to do. We also want to get our feet on the ground and serve the orphanage in practical ways. So, we announced that we are headed back to Bolivia this coming March for a mercy ministry trip to help with construction projects around the orphanage.
If you’re interested in the ministry trip to Bolivia, you can join us this Sunday, September 8, at Oak Grove at 9:00 a.m. for an informational meeting. The trip will be focused on construction work and take place from March 27 – April 7, 2014.
To give personally to the work of Casa De Esperanza you can do so through this website by selecting “Orphanage”. One hundred percent of donated funds go directly to Casa De Esperanza. No administrative costs are deducted from these donations.